Eco-friendly dates on a budget

Sustainable gifts for the kitchen

Giving useful and meaningful gifts that will also help the environment is very rewarding. Sometimes all it takes is that another person shows you the way with one small item. Then you follow. Here, you can find a list of nine items that will help to make the kitchen a better place for the planet. 

The kitchen is the heart of the house. It is a place where some people spend a lot of time, a place where the magic of family meals happens. So making kitchen sustainable goes a long way. It is one of the places in the house, where we generate a lot of impact on our environment.   

To pick an eco-friendly and sustainable gift for the kitchen, you have multiple options. You can focus on food storage and eliminating single-use items, eliminating any plastic, greening up the cleaning products, or improving waste management.

I am not using any affiliate links, everything I recommend is because I like it and think it is useful. Feel free to search for different options in the same products category.


  1. Reusable storage bags
  2. Reusable food wraps
  3. Silicone baking mats
  4. Unpaper towel
  5. Luffa and cleaning brushes
  6. Sustainable cleaning products
  7. Glass storage containers
  8. Metal storage containers
  9. Kitchen compost container

Eliminate single-use items

Over the past decades, we have incorporated many single-use items into our lives that just didn’t exist before. In the kitchen, we mostly use them to clean or to store food. I will show you a few alternatives to eliminating them.

1. Reusable storage bags

Some plastic items are useful, for example, Ziploc® or other food storage bags. They are very convenient for freezing and preserving the food or even for packing snacks to the office or school. Unfortunately, many people will throw them away after one use, others after a few uses. 

The good thing is that now we can easily find reusable silicone food storage bags that will last for years. No more unnecessary waste generated. You can find many sets just like this one on Etsy. You can find different shapes and sizes. And with one purchase, you avoid many future purchases.

2. Reusable food wraps (beeswax or other)

Sustainable kitchen: beeswax-food-wraps

Another single-use item we abuse is the plastic foil to cover leftovers, pack a piece of cheese of fruit, etc. This is impossible to reuse, and it is not recycled. After you are done with it, it goes straight to the landfill.

Switch to something that will not generate so much waste over time. You can purchase reusable food wraps. 

These wraps are usually made of cotton or other plant-based textiles, coated with beeswax mixed with oil. These wraps can be used the same way as the plastic foil: pack cheese, fruits, vegetables, bread, cooked meal plates, bowls, or sandwiches. 

You can reuse them many times, and they can be even re-waxed later if the wax fades over time. Heat the wraps with your hands and mold them to any shape you need. The added benefit is you can find them in many beautiful styles depending on the textile. Look at this three-pieces set on Etsy.

3. Silicone baking mats

Just like with the two previous items, we are looking for alternatives to single-use products that end up in the trash. If you are a baker, you probably use a lot of parchment or baking paper. You would think it’s not a big deal because you can recycle paper. However, if after baking, it is covered in grease or oil, you should not recycle it. Also, recycling paper requires energy. 

Purchasing reusable silicone baking mats, you get rid of waste for years to come. Just with one set, you are ready to bake sweet and savory treats, you can even use it for other purposes. For example, to knead and roll your dough.

Find a good quality food-grade silicone mats just like this one on Etsy.

4. Unpaper towel

Sustainable kitchen: unpaper towel

I have really never understood why would anyone spend money on paper towels when other items can do the same job and be used for a long time to come. We have always used kitchen towels to dry the dishes, and a different set of kitchen towels to clean and wipe the counters. 

If you use paper towels to clean food waste, you can not even recycle it, and it goes to the landfill. Instead, have a textile “unpaper towel,” which is just the traditional kitchen towel. Have a few of them in your kitchen and wash them when they dirty or damp. There is really no need to use paper to clean or dry anything. 

Better cleaning

Cleaning is one of the activities that pollute our environment a lot, and we might not even notice. It is quite a paradox that our cleaning can actually make a lot of waste. 

5. Luffa and cleaning brushes

cheap eco-friendly gift: luffa

Conventional synthetic sponges are made of polyester, polyurethane, or other artificial material. This will take hundreds of years to break down in the landfill, and it will release greenhouse gasses to the environment in the process. 

Luckily, we now know of a few natural alternatives that serve the same purpose with less harm to the environment. Your first option is to start using a luffa. Luffa is a fibrous structure of a cucumber-like plant. This is an edible plant, but when it’s mature, it is very coarse and can be used just like a sponge in the kitchen or in the bathroom. 

After you use it for several weeks, it will need to get changed. You can simply put it in your compost pile, worm bin, or send it to the local composting site to break down naturally. Look at this luffa in Etsy.

If you want to use something different, search for kitchen brushes made of natural organic materials like bamboo, wood, coconut fiber, or tampico fiber. They come in different shapes and sizes to clean plates, bowl, bottles, etc. Get inspired by this set on Amazon.

To be honest, I actually prefer luffas, as it is easier to dispose of them in the compost. Wood or bamboo is biodegradable, but it will take a longer time. Luffa can break down very fast in a home compost pile or worm bin. But you can decide on whatever is more convenient for you. Make sure that you compost the natural parts after you are done using them.

6. Sustainable cleaning products (to forgo gloves)

Using cleaning products that are not made using harmful chemicals is better for the environment, as these pollute the environment.

When I switched, this had another unexpected positive effect. I stopped using gloves for washing the dishes or cleaning because these products are so soft that they do not harm my skin. 

Many national brands make green biodegradable products, it is easy to choose the best for you. Look at GroveSeventh GenerationEcos, or many others. 

Better storage

It has become habitual to use plastic objects to store our food. These items will eventually break and end up in the landfill. In their long process of degradation, they will break into tiny particles called microplastics. Microplastics have already entered into our food. Recently they have been found not only in seafood but also in our fruits, vegetables and bottled or tap water. Furthermore, plastic has been scrutinized because it is leaching harmful chemicals into our food. 

For all these reasons, you might be compelled to switch to healthier alternatives for food storage. 

7. Glass storage containers

Zero-waste home pantry

Whether you need containers for the pantry or for the freezer, look for a suitable set for you. I personally use old jars from jams and preserves in my pantry. I only had to buy a few bigger jars, that I didn’t have already. They are inexpensive and safe to use. 

For the pantry try something like this set that I found on Etsy. For the freezer and oven, look at this set on Amazon.

8. Metal storage containers

If you want something more portable, to take your lunch to the office, school, or when you are packing for a picnic, glass can be heavy, and there is a danger of breaking it. For those occasions, chose stainless steel containers that will last forever.

I found this stainless steel lunch box with compartments on Amazon, but you can pick whatever style you like the most.

Waste Management

9. Kitchen compost container

Sustainable kitchen: Kitchen compost container

There is an ultimate way to reduce your kitchen impact on the environment. I think everyone should start their own compost, vermicompost, or find a way to deliver their food waste in a local composting facility. 

If you inspect your trash, you will realize that food waste constitutes 50% or more of it. And food waste has much better ways to manage it than sending it to the landfill, where it releases greenhouse gasses just like any other waste.  

I don’t want to go into details, but if you are interested in starting your own worm bin, read this article. It will give you all the information necessary, including what do you need, how to prepare, and how to maintain the bin.

Whichever way you choose, you will need a suitable bin to maintain your food waste until you can dispose of it in the compost. The container needs to have a lid to avoid fruit flies. Some have a charcoal filter to eliminate any possible smells. 

On Etsy, you can find a range of styles and prices from a stainless steel container like this one to a beautiful ceramic bin like this one.

After you have chosen the best gift, you might need to wrap and decorate it. I have written a whole article on eco-friendly ways to wrap a gift. Read it and get inspired so you don’t mess your green gift with plastic wrapping. In this article, I cover how to reuse what you already have in your house for wrapping, some non-traditional ways of wrapping including a Japanese traditional way of wrapping called Furoshiki. Moreover, I give tips on how to tie and decorate the gift.

I am not using any affiliate links, everything I recommend is because I like it and think it is useful. Feel free to search for different options in the same products category.